Aug 10, 2006

Repeating Recipes

My grandma took notes from Coca-Cola, keeping her recipes tightly guarded. She also passed on before the internet boom, where there are so many published recipes you might want to cook your head sifting through them. Today, even Coca-Cola's secret may be exposed.

It's well known that you can't copyright a recipe, so it's natural that the ethics of trading them on the information superhighway has become an issue among food bloggers. From the Copyright Office:
How do I protect my recipe?
A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records
.

WaPo published a lengthy discussion back in January and now the bloggers are unconsciously creating their own code of ethics around this issue. I find it quite respectful.

Tigers and Strawberries has an excellent post addressing several aspects of attribution.

Megnut feels better after reading the WaPo article.

Accidental Hedonist lays down the law.

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